Wake Ed

Wake County considering calendar changes for year-round schools

Art teacher Theresa Workman leads a third-grade glass on June 23, 2016 at Rand Road Elementary School, a single-track year-round school in Garner. Wake County school administrators are considering recommending calendar changes for some single-track schools.
Art teacher Theresa Workman leads a third-grade glass on June 23, 2016 at Rand Road Elementary School, a single-track year-round school in Garner. Wake County school administrators are considering recommending calendar changes for some single-track schools. tlong@newsobserver.com

Families and staff at some Wake County year-round and modified-calendar schools could find out Tuesday if their schools are being considered for a calendar change in 2018.

Wake County school administrators will present at Tuesday’s school board work session a suggested timeline for “non-traditional calendar school calendar changes” for the 2018-19 school year. Staff recommendations on changes for specific single track year-round schools and one modified-calendar school could be presented as soon as Tuesday

It’s unclear if the recommended changes would call for the schools to be put on a traditional calendar or a multi-track year-round calendar. Additionally, any changes made to a modified-calendar school could end the grandfathering it received from the state’s school calendar law.

The potential changes put the spotlight on Wake’s 11 single-track schools and five modified-calendar schools. The single-track schools are mostly in eastern Wake and Garner and the modified-calendar schools are mostly in Raleigh.

In a single-track school, classes start in late July or early August and end in late June. Students have three-week breaks after every nine weeks of classes.

In modified-calendar schools, classes start in late July and end in late May. Students have periodic two-week breaks during the school year.

Wake operates another form of year-round calendar called multi-track in which students are split into four groups with three in class at all times as a way to increase the campus capacity.

The potential 2018-19 changes come as the result of a district study that found that the majority of traditional-calendar elementary and middle schools were over capacity. The study also found that the majority of Wake’s year-round schools were under capacity.

Recommendations on calendar changes at specific multi-track schools are expected to be made at a later date for the 2018-19 school year.

Other items on Tuesday’s agenda include:

▪ Staff will provide an update on the various education-related bills filed this year in the General Assembly, such as House Bill 13 that gives school districts some relief on pending K-3 class size changes;

▪ Staff will present revised versions to draft 2018-19 calendars for traditional, modified and year-round schools. The main changes from the original drafts revolve around whether to hold an early release day on Sept. 7 or Nov. 20 and whether traditional-calendar schools should end classes on June 7 or June 11.

▪ During the regular session, the school board will vote on its 2017 legislative agenda, which lists the issues it will lobby state legislators on this year. Items include moving school board elections back to odd-numbered years and providing school calendar flexibility;

▪ The school board will give final approval to new policies that spell out how parents can challenge books used in their child’s school and what to do when a child doesn’t have enough money to pay for a school meal. School officials say the new policies spell out what’s now in practice.

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